Download Becoming American: The Early Arab Immigrant Experience by Alixa Naff PDF

By Alixa Naff

A distinct research in American immigra­tion and assimilation background that still presents a unique view of 1 of the smaller ethnic teams in American society. Naff makes a speciality of the pre-World warfare I pio­neering new release of Arabic-speaking immigrants, the iteration that set the styles for cost and assimilation. not like many immigrants who have been interested in the USA through desires of business jobs or to flee spiritual or fiscal persecution, almost all these ar­tisans and vendors of small, disconnected plots of land got here to the USA to have interaction within the firm of peddling. so much deliberate to stick or 3 years and re­turn to their homelands.

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Of those clos- Page 24 est to him, one faction believed that his successor must come from the Prophet's inner circle of believers and helpers. A second faction insisted that succession should pass to his son-in-law and cousin, Ali, who was also a member of the Prophet's inner circle. The schism which this early dispute produced was as deep as that which cleaved Catholics and Protestants in Christian Europe. Moreover, it was inevitable that the insistence of Islamic rulers on the concept of a community in which conquered religiously and ethnically diverse peoples would be unified on the basis of a religion that claimed superiority over others, was bound to generate additional rifts and spawn numerous sects.

Between the tenth and thirteenth centuries, when it was at the peak of its power and influence, its three capital cities of Baghdad, Cairo, and Cordova in Spain were among the world's major centers of learning and culture. Architecture, music and art, literature and philosophy, astronomy and navigation, mathematics and medicine, all flourished under Islamic rule; European culture was not to reach such heights until the Renaissanceand then only after the achievements of Islam had been transmitted to Europe.

Before the conquest, Mount Lebanon had been ruled under a unique feudal system which had evolved over centuries. Under this system, peasants and artisans were ruled in districts by hereditary aristocratic feudal lords, each with his own militia. Over them was the Lord of the Mountain, an Amir, selected by the notables from a dynastic feudal family. Theoretically, he was first among equals, responsible for amassing the annual tribute demanded by the Ottoman government; but he answered to its representatives, usually the stronger of rival Ottoman governors in two neighboring provinces who also demanded an annual tribute.

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